Hi belles! Who else out there is somewhat of a beauty junkie? This post is for you!
Well, I’ve technically broken my commitment to exclusively buy fair trade clothing/accessories this year. However, it was not a decision that I took lightly…in fact, I debated buying this Angela Roi Sunday Tote II handbag for six months before I actually bought it!
But first, can we take a minute to admire its loveliness? Okay, thanks. 🙂
Last week, my good friend Traci and I went to a screening of the documentary True Cost, hosted by Redress Raleigh. We had heard that it was about the ethical, humanitarian, and environmental problems associated with the modern fashion industry and figured it was a perfect movie to watch as we continue in our Inside Out fair trade fashion/beauty product challenge.
It’s hard for me to find adequate adjectives to describe this documentary. Moving, convicting, fascinating, and heartbreaking all come to mind. I stared in shock at images of waste water from leather factories and blinked back tears as I listened to a young woman in Bangladesh describe her working conditions and the consequences her job has had on her family. As someone who has done some research on the fast fashion industry, I was not shocked at some of the statistics, but was pleasantly surprised to find myself learning new information throughout the movie. I highly recommend this film to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or level of interest in fair trade/ethical/eco-conscious/insert-your-favorite-buzzword-here fashion. It’s incredibly interesting.
And in the meantime, check out the trailer:
We like big hair here in the South. Much to my chagrin, however, I have not yet seen big, frizzy hair become fashionable. So where does that leave frizzy-haired ladies like me? The lengths we will go to at times to obtain that illusive shiny sleekness is pure. T. cuh-razy. And you know what? I’m done with it. Tired of wasting precious time and money chasing after something that it appears I will never have. So, as the humidity creeps on up into the 90th percentile range this summer (all my frizzy haired friends can feel me on this one; we know EXACTLY where to look on Weather.com to find the hourly humidity), I propose a shift in attitude. Let’s stop all the fuss and worry and not give a hoot about our hair, even for one day this summer. Here’s our manifesto:
As you all know by now, I am doing a fair trade fashion challenge this year that involves exclusively purchasing fair trade clothing, jewelry, and accessories. I am in need of a new pair of tennis shoes (mine are sporting more than one hole at this point), and was hoping to find a nice fair trade pair to purchase. Ha! I did find some, but they are made in France, and the cost/logistics of shipping them here to the U.S. are a little too daunting for me. But before we get into all of that, join me in crushing on these sneakers by Veja:
Where all my do-good nurse friends at?? Finding specialty clothing items that are ethically sourced is incredibly difficult, so I was beyond excited when I recently stumbled across Catalyst Scrubs! The brand was started last year by a speech pathologist who saw a niche in the market for ethically-sourced scrubs. Catalyst’s scrubs are made by women in impoverished countries who are given fair wages and other incentives, such as free medical care, free child care, and free business courses.
Hey there, belles! I wanted to share a bit today about how my Inside Out fair trade fashion challenge is going. In a nutshell: well!
I conquered my grandma instincts and ordered clothes online for the first time! Well, okay, let me give myself a little credit…I have ordered clothes and shoes online before, but only when there was a physical store close by where I could easily return them (think: Victoria’s Secret, DSW, etc.). This was my first time ordering clothes when the only return option was to ship them back. Cue the anxiety now!! Just kidding. Like most things, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it’d be.
It helped, of course, that the clothes I got (from Threads4Thought, my absolute favey-fave fair trade clothing company) were ADORABLE! How fun and summery is this blue and green maxi skirt??
Yes, you read that right. Fashion trucks! They’re a thing, y’all! Think of a food truck, but with pretty clothes inside instead of tacos and burgers. It’s fantastic.
I recently wrote about my difficulties finding stores here in Raleigh at which to shop for fair trade clothing. At the end of that rather depressing post, I promised that there was good news coming. Here it is!
Back in January, I was telling a group of ladies about my interest in fair trade fashion and my struggles to find local vendors. One of them piped up and said she had recently learned about a local fair trade fashion truck through another friend. I was beyond excited and immediately hit the Internet to find out more.
Shopping for clothes on the Internet just isn’t my thing. I don’t have a “normal” body shape (but isn’t that true of most of us?), and depending on the brand and fit, I can wear clothing that ranges anywhere from a size 0 to size 8. Trying things on in store is critical for me. Reluctant to order an expensive fair trade shirt online only to find that I have to pay to ship it straight back due to it not fitting, I set out in my car a few weeks ago to find fair trade clothing in my home city of Raleigh.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
The number of brick-and-mortar stores selling fair trade clothing in Raleigh (the second largest city in North Carolina, I might add) is underwhelming at best. Google searches only turned up one store: Sugar Magnolia, which is located on Hillsborough Street near NC State’s campus.
Finding fair trade clothing retailers PERIOD is hard enough to begin with, but when you’re on the hunt for a specific, specialty item, I’m learning that you’ve really got your work cut out for you. When hubs recently commented on how he needed some new suits for work, I quickly jumped on the opportunity to browse fair trade men’s suits online (I knew the chance of finding a local store was 0%). However, there was nothing to browse. I found zero (ZERO!!) suits online that were fair trade certified. I’m trying to give the universe the benefit of the doubt by assuming there’s got to be at least one fair trade suit out there on the market, but it’s just buried on a website whose developer doesn’t do good SEO.
What gives, clothing industry? Or maybe I should say, what gives, American businessmen? Is there really so little demand for fair trade suits that companies see no point in making them?
So, what’s a socially conscious man to do? Despite the dearth of fair trade options, I did find some ethically-made suits.